Location Diaries - Janani for Karunkkapiyam: Horror comedy of errors
This weekly column details the fascinating encounters that often take place on the sets of a film and this week, it is from Karunkkapiyam
Actor Janani was thrilled to begin filming for director Deekay’s Karunkkapiyam as her character had a quirky touch to it but she was also equally anxious shooting in the middle of the pandemic. "We shot when the situation had eased out a bit but it was still scary for all of us. I was initially afraid to even step out for the shoot, but I didn’t want to miss this role. After Avan Ivan, this is the first time I am essaying a character with a strong humour sense. So I went ahead despite the covid scare and it turned out to be an unforgettable experience!"
For a particular sequence, the team had to shoot in veteran actor Rajesh’s house. "He would chat with us during the lunch break about a wide range of topics—from his experiences in the industry to even his interests like astrology. It was very informative and enriching to hear the senior talk. On the last day of the shoot, he treated all of us to a sumptuous home-cooked meal. It was a beautiful gesture."
Janani also got to work with Yogi Babu in the film. "Though we were part of Dharmaprabhu, we didn't share screen space in that film. So this was my first shoot with him and it was wonderful to witness his hilarious comic timing. We would clap when he finished giving a shot. We shared a good rapport, and his portions are going to be a highlight of the film."
She also got to act with Karunakaran in the film for the first time. These portions were made more memorable as they marked Janani's first action sequence. "Since we were shooting inside a house and space was restricted, we rehearsed a few times to be mindful of camera angles and avoid bumping into furniture. The shot only had Karunakaran and me in it, and he gave inputs that Deekay agreed to incorporate. We are all very happy that the sequence translated well onto the screen."
For one shot, Janani had to hit Karunakaran with a frying pan. "He had to take the hit and give a pained expression. On the third take, he suddenly fell on the floor and we thought it was part of the shot. Once the camera stopped rolling, he sat up laughing at himself because he had actually stumbled and fallen down by mistake."
Janani was also impressed with Deekay's working style. "I observed that he worked at a fast pace. If a shot was good in the first take, he would okay it and move on. At the same time, if there was any room for improvement, he would not compromise till he achieved the desired output. Even after explaining the script in detail, he would give me full freedom to perform on the set. As an actor, the process was quite exhilarating," Janani signs off.